March 25, 2012
Avoid Allergies the Sweet Way!
Honey's the Sweetest Thing
If all you know about honey is that Winnie the Pooh loves it, bees make it, and it tastes good, you're in for a sweet surprise!
Honey has many benefits nutritionally and even has antibacterial properties that can help heal wounds. In comparison to regular sugar, honey stands out! Here's a quick comparison:
Contains over 15 vitamins and nutrients Pure carbohydrate
Enters blood slowly at 2 calories/min Can cause severe blood sugar fluctuations- entering your blood at 10 calories/min
Not a contributor to osteoporosis Believed to leach calcium from bones, contributing to osteoporosis
Here are a few other benefits of honey.
Fights off Allergens
Local honey can actually teach your body to fight off allergens, thus making it a fantastic seasonal allergy preventative. This works because local honey is produced in the same bloom area as the one you live in, thus allowing you to build a tolerance to common seasonal allergens.
Boosts Athletic Performance
Research has shown that honey is a great ergogenic aid (performance enhancer), by helping to maintain blood sugar levels, and aid in muscle repair and glycogen restoration after a workout. It is still a sugar, but it releases slowly into the blood stream and does not create the spike in blood sugar that can become a strain on the pancreas and cause insulin level maintenance.
Fights off Bacteria
Honey is also a natural antiseptic that is antibacterial and antimicrobial. Honey can be applied topically directly to a wound. It also speeds up healing time by stimulating the wound tissues and by acting as a natural humectant; it is hydrophilic, or water loving, and acts upon a bacterial cell by pulling out it's water content, thereby dehydrating and killing it.
Honey used to be a battlefield medicine and is still known to be highly effective for burns and wounds. It is making a resurgence in medical use as you are now seeing bandages coated with honey.
Cures Night Cough
Recently the FDA advisory board recommended that over-the-counter cough medicines not be given to children under the age of six due to potential negative side effects. But honey at bedtime is a great alternative option without the harmful side effects. Honey works to quiet a cough by soothing a soar throat and allowing its high antioxidant count and antimicrobial properties go to work healing the body. (NOTE: honey shouldn't be given to children under one year of age due to the possibility of botulism.)
Get Your Share!
With all the benefits honey has to offer it's tempting to zip over to the grocery and grab the first bottle or bear you see on the store shelf. Stop! Instead look for a local vendor at your famers market. Many store brands are filtered and pasteurized which means that the flavor, health benefits, and immunization qualities are lost in the processing. To get the most from your honey look for 100% raw brands that are unpasteurized and locally produced.
Written with contributions by Dawn Combs of Mockingbird Meadows Honey and Herb Farm. Visit her website at mockingbirdmeadows.com
Posted by The Sara Snow Team at 8:23 PM